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Archive for April, 2009

Crane Load Chart

The crane load chart is the crane operator’s bible. It is a simplified compilation of engineering data the crane manufacturer furnishes with the machine. This chart (or table) tells the reader what that machine will lift in any allowable configuration (boom length, load radius, outrigger span, area of operation, or jib deployed. Short-term crane rentals in the Atlanta area usually comprise a crane, delivered to your site, with an operator. Your operator is there to not only bring you your crane, but also to streamline the entire lifting process- he knows how to get your lift done safely.   A good operator knows and refers to the crane’s load chart.

crane lift steel

Be forewarned, there are many caveats to the figures in the load charts for modern cranes. Take the fine print seriously, in the lifting business it means everything!

The OSHA accredited crane operator’s exam has several hundred technical questions (the pass threshold is 80% correct answers, not the 60 or 70% we became complacent with in school). Most of the questions concern the crane load chart.

If you still want to read a load chart, read all notes from the beginning, browse through the tables, then carefully read the final page(s) of fine print. The boring stuff at the beginning and end defines and qualifies (reduces) a lot of the allowable load numbers in the tables. Then, when you are ready for the tables, make special note of the title of each section (most load charts are divided into sections based on the configuration of the crane.) Pay attention to the notes at the top, bottom, or to either side of the columns. Remember, among other things, the load radius is measured from the crane’s center of rotation to the center of gravity of the load you are wanting to lift.

For a sample chart from one of our rental cranes based in Atlanta, open this 40 ton crane load chart. The section title on page two “30-94′ BOOM AND HEAVY LIFT PACKAGE- ON OUTRIGGERS FULLY EXTENDED” is loaded with crucial information. That one statement defines the boom lengths covered, the counterweight installed, and the outrigger span required to lift the loads specified. Reading the section heading carefully tells us this section of the load chart covers what this crane will lift from the main boom with all outriggers fully extended. Note the column which specifies higher allowable loads for over rear. Drawings and notes on page one define the rear quadrant and describe the counterweight that must be in place to qualify for ‘Heavy Lift Package’ status.

On the other hand…

If you just want something lifted, quickly, effortlessly, and safely, by someone who has dozens of load charts memorized, call us at SS Crane & Rigging. For crane rentals in the Atlanta, Marietta, Kennesaw, Cartersville, or Canton areas call 678-848-6386.

Load charts from some popular cranes:

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